Cape Hatteras Music Festival to benefit CHAPA is May 5
By IRENE NOLAN
music” will take on a new meaning on Saturday, May 5, when some 40
Outer Banks musicians will be playing all afternoon and into the night
to raise money to restore more reasonable public access to the beaches
of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.
The First Annual Cape Hatteras Music Festival is being organized by the
Cape Hatteras Music Guild to benefit the Cape Hatteras Access
Preservation Alliance in its legal fight against the National Park
Service and its off-road vehicle management plan and final rule.
“Think of it as a nine-hour music jam,” says Mike Fahey of Frisco, a
retired businessman and amateur musician, who is spearheading the
festival for the guild.
The gates will open at 1 p.m. at the Fessenden Center in Buxton, and the musicians will be jamming from 1:30 until 11 p.m.
“They are well-known local acts,” says Fahey, “and they are all Outer Banks musicians.”
The acts include Rory Kelleher, WaterHigh, Eli Thompson, Sean Bendula,
Hal & Bruce, Banjo Island, Jack Quidley, Jamie and Mark, Mojo
Collins, EZ Malone, Jones Potion, the Blind Prophets, and Soul Rebel.
The musicians are all donating their time to the beach access cause,
and Fahey notes that the event was the idea of the musicians.
“It all started with a few local musicians sitting around at Pop’s and talking about beach access,” says Fahey.
They decided it was time that the community of musical artists on the
island did something to help, and the Cape Hatteras Music Festival was
That was just six weeks ago, and the guild members have let no grass
grow under their feet as they have pulled everything together in a
The artists took their idea to CHAPA – an alliance of pro-access
groups, including the Outer Banks Preservation Association, the Cape
Hatteras Angler Club, and the North Carolina Beach Buggy association.
CHAPA, which filed a lawsuit against the Department of Interior and the
National Park Service on Feb. 9 to stop the ORV plan and final rule,
embraced the idea. They especially embraced the idea that Fahey
and his fellow guild members would do all the heavy lifting on
organizing the festival. The pro-access groups are run by
volunteers, almost all of whom work and/or own businesses and are
stretched thin when it comes to fundraising.
The guild sought and received permission from Dare County to have the festival at the county’s Fessenden Center.
Fahey can’t say enough good things about the county employees,
especially in the Parks and Recreation Department, who have helped the
organizers along the way. And he adds that he is also grateful to the
Dare County Sheriff’s Office, county Emergency Medical Services, other
community groups and business folks who have offered sponsorships and
help in many ways.
About a dozen local artists and artisans are giving CHAPA a $25
donation to set up booths during the festival. And there will be
several food vendors, who are donating $50 to sell barbecue,
hamburgers, hot dogs, and other good things. Among them are
Crazy Johnny Conner’s Traveling Grill, the Git’r Dun Grill with Steve
Groves, the Channel Bass restaurant, and the Freshman Class of Cape
Hatteras Secondary School, which will raise money selling hamburgers
and hot dogs.
There will also be a 50-50 raffle, door prizes, and a small auction.
The festival organizers aim to make the event economical for
everyone. Admission is a $5 donation to CHAPA for adults and
children over 12, and $3 for children ages 5-12.
There will be parking in two large lots next to the Shipwreck Grill and
across from the Outer Banks Motel, owned by Carol Dillon, an avid
access supporter. Carol and Scott Busbey have also agreed to let
their property in front of the Osprey Center be used if needed.
Fahey and his helpers have put up more than 400 posters at businesses
all up and down the Outer Banks in the past month. The business
owners, he said, are totally supportive, and only two have refused the
poster – because of store or corporate policies.
“Some of those business owners are just hanging on by their
fingernails,” Fahey says, noting that many have taken a double punch
from loss of access and Hurricane Irene.
“There’s just so much resentment, anger, and despair about what the Park Service has done,” he said.
Fahey notes that the festival has been dubbed the “first annual”
because organizers hope that it’s just the beginning of an event that
has the potential to become a major economic development tool for
Hatteras Island in the slower time between Easter and Memorial Day.
“If we are lucky,” Fahey says, “we will have 500 or 1,000 folks in attendance.”
But, down the road, he muses, there could be several thousand people
descending on Hatteras Island the first weekend to May to hear “beach”
music and to stay in island rental cottages, hotels, motels, and
campgrounds and dine in island restaurants.
You can get more information on the First Annual Cape Hatteras Music Festival on the music guild’s website, www.capehatterasmusicguild.org.
note: Some readers have asked if they can contribute if they
can’t attend the festival. The answer is “yes.” Go to the Outer Banks
Preservation Association banner ad at the top of the IFP Beach Access
Page. Click on the ad for information on donating.)